Dunquin shares close ties with the once-inhabited Blasket Islands as it was the nearest point on the mainland from which supplies were sent over to the islands. The Blaskets also fell in under the same parish as Dunquin which is why the village is referred to as the "next parish to America".
The poignant story of the Blasket Islanders can be seen in the Blascaod Centre in Dunquin. The fascinating history became well-documented after several scholars visited the island in the early 20th century to learn of their folklore. They inspired the Islanders to write their own stories and authors such as Tomás Ó'Criomhthain, Muiris Ó'Suilleabháin and Peig Sayers gained world recognition for their work. The Christmas of 1953 saw the last of the Islanders leave the Blaskets.
The Blasket Islands Ferry leaves from Dunquins pier. Don't be surprised if there is no sailing to the island however as the conditions have to be fairly good in order for the boat to moor on the other side.